New Delhi: The logjam over the decision to ban registration of non-BS-IV vehicles in National Capital Region (NCR) from 1 April continued on Friday with Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) and automobile manufacturers failing to hammer out a consensus.
The EPCA reprimanded major automobile manufacturers for remaining adamant on their stand that abiding by any cut-off date was difficult as their inventory will take a time to clear off.
Manufacturers said it was difficult to set a time-frame by which they would exhaust their BS-III emission compliant stock of commercial vehicles and three-wheelers. There was confusion over figures provided by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in this regard.
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However, the companies, including Tata and Ashok Leyland said they would stop the manufacture of such vehicles by 1 April to ensure the countrywide roll-out of BS-IV norms. SIAM had in the last EPCA meeting claimed that going by present rate of sales, on 31 March, there would be 45,000 three-wheelers, 75,000 commercial vehicles, 7.5 lakh two-wheelers and 20,000 passenger vehicles.
However, it has now emerged that SIAM figures, especially that of three-wheelers, had the data of Bajaj included in it. Bajaj has submitted to EPCA that it has exhausted its BS-III stock and was ready to abide by the April 1 cut-off date, which essentially brings down the BS-III inventory of three-wheelers to 25,000.
The companies also refused to share data of their individual inventories. EPCA chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain made it clear that the Supreme Court-appointed body would soon spell out the final word on this matter as the country’s pollution situation was alarming and could not be taken lightly.
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In October last year, EPCA had directed auto manufacturers to exhaust their stock of non-BS-IV vehicles by 1 April. Last week it reiterated that vehicles, even those seeking a national permit, will not be manufactured and registered in the National Capital Region from 1 April.
Meanwhile, the EPCA sought last three months’ data from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan on pollution control certificates issued by their PUC centres and the failure rate of vehicles opting for tests within a week.